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ShornKnight
2006-05-12, 11:58 PM
I assume we have some literature buffs scattered throughout this forum... I know of a pair, already. Please, enlighten us as to any good books/novellas you've read recently.

I myself have just re-read "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Love it, loooove it.

Mattaeu
2006-05-13, 12:05 AM
Book(s): The Midnight Susan Howe;
Murder (a violet) Raymond McDaniel;
Production of Presence Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, although this one is more of just an awesome writing theory. really hard references in it though;
Dracula Bram Stoker, not recently, but still a favorite;
and A River Runs Through It Norman Maclean.

Demosthenes
2006-05-13, 12:45 AM
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
OtherLand by Tad Williams This is an awsome sci-fi book. Trust me, if you like sci-fi you will lose months reading this 4K page behemoth... I did
Sword of Shanara

coron
2006-05-13, 12:47 AM
Stuck in Neutral by... ummm ccant remmeber author but g ood book.

LordOfNarf
2006-05-13, 01:48 AM
I recently finished the Dune saga by Frank Herbert, very very well witten, though it is a little slow in books 4&5 it is very good.

STAY AWAY FROM WAR AND PEACE ugh, never read it unless you set crazy goals for yourself, like i do.

Sophistemon
2006-05-13, 01:57 AM
Anansi Boys and American Gods. Good reads if you like humorous fiction.

Dhavaer
2006-05-13, 05:48 AM
I just finished Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) and its a damn good read if you like Pratchett's other stuff. It's much more Pratchett than Gaiman.

If you prefer a more literary feel, try the Cruicible (Sara Douglass). It has three books, The Nameless Day, The Wounded Hawk and The Crippled Angel. Medieval Europe, but with a vaguely 'modern fantasy' feel. Prepare yourself for a great deal of misogyny in the first book, though.

Miles Invictus
2006-05-13, 12:13 PM
If by "short stories" you mean short stories, there is a collection of every short story Arthur C. Clarke has ever written.

Failing that, there's the Ender's Shadow series, which I finished about a week ago. It ends on a pretty depressing note, though.

A few days ago, I finished Dark Tower V. It's good, even if it doesn't have quite the same level of "Stephen King is on drugs" weirdness as the first three.

Renrik
2006-05-13, 02:48 PM
any thing by HP lovecraft, to start.

as for other short stories....

The Sniper, by Liam O'Flaherty

edit: this is my 666th post!

Aaluran
2006-05-13, 04:05 PM
I just put down Douglas Adams' The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It has got to be the best piece of sci-fi comedy literature EVER! I'm serious. Any sci-fi fan has missed out a lot if he hasn't read this book (that's only my personal opinion, of course). The only other authour who has ever made me laugh my butt off and do some serious thinking on the human nature and the nature of our Universe simultaneously is Terry Pratchett, which reminds me of another good book I've recently read - Pratchett's Night Watch. I read it a few months ago and loved it.

Also, I believe that it was already mentioned but I recommend you Frank Herbert's Dune books. They may be a bit heavy at times (as LordOfNarf said) but they're very well written.

Amotis
2006-05-13, 04:17 PM
I assume we have some literature buffs scattered throughout this forum... I know of a pair, already. Please, enlighten us as to any good books/novellas you've read recently.

I myself have just re-read "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. Love it, loooove it.

Reading it right now too. :)
When I read the back cover I groaned so loud.
"African American" UGH!! "modern" UGH!!!"
But it's acutally ok. So there.

For short stories I suggest anything Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury.

For book, since you liked a good book you might like some others:
Anything Sarte
Anything Emerson
The works of Walt Whitman

Xanadu
2006-05-13, 04:22 PM
Well, the classics are always The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy (The trilogy of 5), and Lord of the Rings.

I personally just finished the Icewind Dale Trilogy, and I am currently reading Beethoven's Hair. All are pretty good books.

hobbes543
2006-05-13, 04:27 PM
I am currently reading the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Fiest

The books are in order:
Magician: Apprentice
Magician: Master
Silverthorn
A Darkness at Sethanon

Baerdog7
2006-05-13, 05:12 PM
OK, let's see how many great books I can rattle off of the top of my head. Without further ado and in no particular order, i present Baerdog7's impromptu list of some of his favorite literature.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
1948 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Anything by H.P. Lovecraft
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (this is a very heavy book, but it is excellent)
Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (no-brainer)
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques
Death of a Salesman and The Crucible by Arthur Miller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Frankenstien by Mary Shelley
The Martian Chronicles and Fahrendheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Any of the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler
Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Congo, and Timeline by Michael Crichton
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (7 part series)

Whew. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I know that I am missing some things, but this is what I could come up with off the top of my head. Hope it helps.

-Baerdog7

TheHawk
2006-05-13, 06:51 PM
David Eddings' Belgariad series. Also RA Salvatore's Drizzt series and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time.

Amotis
2006-05-13, 10:46 PM
OK, let's see how many great books I can rattle off of the top of my head. *Without further ado and in no particular order, i present Baerdog7's impromptu list of some of his favorite literature.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
1948 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Anything by H.P. Lovecraft
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (this is a very heavy book, but it is excellent)
Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (no-brainer)
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques
Death of a Salesman and The Crucible by Arthur Miller
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Frankenstien by Mary Shelley
The Martian Chronicles and Fahrendheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Any of the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler
Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Congo, and Timeline by Michael Crichton
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (7 part series)

Whew. *This is by no means an exhaustive list and I know that I am missing some things, but this is what I could come up with off the top of my head. *Hope it helps.

-Baerdog7

Yeah! Someone with good taste. Fixed, of course. ;)

Ps: I love Cyrano.

LordOfNarf
2006-05-13, 11:15 PM
What do you have against Crichton? The JP books are good, as are congo and timeline, the andraomeda strain is a lttle weak, but Sphere is exeptionally good.

The movies screwed all of them up though.

I will second the Dirk pitt novels, and the redwall seiries, but read them in the order they were written.

Amotis
2006-05-13, 11:27 PM
Ok Sphere was ok I suppose. But the rest, are movies in writing. And no, that does not make them good books. That makes them good movies, but definently not good books. Same goes with the current trend of "good books." (read: Dan Brown and James Redfield) and are not quality literature. Sure, I'd love to see the movies (and am going to) because they'll be good movies. But they're not good books, they're the cheap dumb thrills of today. In book form.

LordOfNarf
2006-05-14, 12:48 AM
They are movies in writing, exept that hollywood decided that we are to dumb to have the function of a cray of a hood gene sequencer to us, and oversimplified the story, went insane on the FX and forgot to develop the charachters before they died.

in JP i'm not even sure that they tell you half the charachters names int he movie.

Oh, and someone decided that 37 hours can fit into 6 in the movie of timeline, cut out the many universe explanation, the translators, all the parts that make it a good read, and viola! Crappy movie out of a good book

You overestimate hollywood, really

Jarl
2006-05-14, 01:28 AM
Hey, JP was a good movie.
Timeline did suck, though.
I've always felt that Michael Chricton's books are like really long short stories, or maybe more like classic dime novels bout the exploits of the latest Edisonade or ER Burroughs or Haggard style characters and situations, except with a distressing amount of verisimilitude added (I won't say real science because that'll start a flame war).
The only real criticism I have against Chricton's books are that he can't end them properly. King will go on and on and on for decades at the end of a story, but Chricton gets to the climax, blows his load too early, and ends with "and she approached him with a smile on her face" (Sphere and Prey both end exactly in this manner).
The best Chricton book is, by far, Eaters of the Dead. Beowulf for great justice.

-And I can see how Catch-22 is a bit hard to swallow. It's a crazy book that takes some patience and maybe re-reading to get past the anti-logic, oxymorons, and doublepeak.

Amotis
2006-05-14, 01:28 AM
I wouldn't have knocked the books unless I have read them. I think you have to much respect for the
"half-artist" ('cept lewis, his essays are pretty good).
When Crichton describes a MAIN character in a few words, one being "beautiful", I draw the line. *:(

EDIT: I accidentlly crossed Catch 22 off. I liked it ;D
It was collateral dmg...

LordOfNarf
2006-05-14, 01:34 AM
If were going to nerf on books too, then i will say that war and peace is the most boring novel i have ever touched, and Les Mis dosen't look a whole lot beter.

And chrichton is a good author, imo, and i don't see why you are ripping on him, sure the science is a litle shaky but thats why its science FICTION not a textbook.

Amotis
2006-05-14, 01:41 AM
I love Les Misérables. I hate War and Peace.
We're not ripping on his science, we're ripping on his writting. I acutally see coolness coming out of timeline, 'cept the movie and the game sucked. Oh well.

I also hate the stuff that is "standard" for underclassmen in high school. All Quiet on the Western Front, Bless Me Ultima, The Alchemist, Ender's Game. Ew. The only one I liked was Romeo and Juliet. We need better books up front, to let kids know that sometimes literature is fun and good.

LordOfNarf
2006-05-14, 02:02 AM
They made a game out of timeline?

WHY!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Amotis
2006-05-14, 02:03 AM
To kill people inside. It was pretty bad. :(

Orrmundur
2006-05-14, 10:53 AM
For all two of us on this forum who can read Icelandic:
Sannleikurinn Um Ísland by Baggalútur is a must. It is brilliance, fun and informative. The history of Iceland The Man doesn't want you to know about. For instance, did you know the Icelandic people invented having television programs on Thursdays? The viking also invented the internet in the early 900's. Truly a masterpiece.

Valda, Adlav and Samiam: the Jacked-Up Trinity
2006-05-14, 07:35 PM
I just finished Artemis Fowl and am currently reading Eragon. I'm an aspiring author and am currently writing a book.

http://www.fictionpress.com/read.php?storyid=2083908&chapter=1

Have a look and tell me what you think. :)

After reading, you should know where my SN comes from.

ShornKnight
2006-05-14, 08:26 PM
Ender's Game *by Orson Scott Card
OtherLand * * *by Tad Williams This is an awsome sci-fi book. Trust me, if you like sci-fi you will lose months reading this 4K page behemoth... I did
Sword of Shanara

The Shannara books are my favorites.
Otherland isn't too bad, either, although as of yet I have only had time to get my hands on the first book. (I'm too poor to be able to buy them, so I rely on the library... lol.)

hobbes543
2006-05-14, 09:29 PM
I second the Artemis Fowl books.

Shaidar_Haran
2006-05-14, 10:16 PM
If there is one book, or series , that I can tell you not to read, for it will corrupt fantasy forever for you, it would be Eragon and the book that follows, Eldest. The lack of originality has kept me from reading any other fantasy, besides those series that I have liked that I had already begun. So, please, please, do not read Eragon and Eldest.

I'm sorry, I do that whenever someone mentions those books in a positive light. I believe it to be reflexive.

LordOfNarf
2006-05-14, 11:05 PM
Eh, the inheritance trilogy (eragon+eldest+as yet untitled 3rd book) is ok, but there is no origianl ideas in it, its as fast paced read that is an ok fantasy story, even if the plot is essentaly star wars.

remember, Lucas's ideas were ripped out of old westerns and samuri films, so they aren't origaanal either.

Amotis
2006-05-15, 12:45 AM
If there is one book, or series , that I can tell you not to read, for it will corrupt fantasy forever for you, it would be Eragon and the book that follows, Eldest. The lack of originality has kept me from reading any other fantasy, besides those series that I have liked that I had already begun. So, please, please, do not read Eragon and Eldest.

I'm sorry, I do that whenever someone mentions those books in a positive light. I believe it to be reflexive.

*thumbs up*

To paraphrase "The Barbarian Invasions", Int is dead. I miss my good literature. :(

Valda, Adlav and Samiam: the Jacked-Up Trinity
2006-05-15, 11:27 PM
Eh, the inheritance trilogy (eragon+eldest+as yet untitled 3rd book) is ok, but there is no origianl ideas in it, its as fast paced read that is an ok fantasy story, even if the plot is essentaly star wars.

remember, Lucas's ideas were ripped out of old westerns and samuri films, so they aren't origaanal either.

No original ideas? Okay, I'll give you that. Then again, that never hurt Lord of the Rings. In my writing, I try to avoid the traditional races (elves, dwarves, halflings etc.). There's an orclike race in there, but they're not the barabaric, warrior types as seen in Lord of the Rings and WarCraft. They're more tribal, with alot of necromancy permeating the shadier tribes.

My problem with elves and other immortal races is just that-- they're immortal. Immortality does not work with character development (which I value first and foremost) because after a few centuries, all but the most optimistic people would become bitter and callous. Not to mention it'd be boring. You live forever and pretty much know everything a non-deity could possibly know. Where's the surprises? Where's the fun? The other thing about immortality that doesn't add up, is that immortal races readily roll into battle with the perishable humans and such. In reality, many would be so desperate to hold onot their eternal life, that they would stay as far away from anything even remotely life threatening. But no. Elves build massive cities and raise armies, taking death no more gravely than a mortal man.

I end my rant now.

Arian
2006-05-16, 12:08 AM
I think the Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series are good books, from a Lit Crit point of view.

Not Shannara, though. Ick. :-)

Amotis
2006-05-16, 12:20 AM
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

jaqueses
2006-05-16, 03:46 AM
The Coldfire Trilogy written by C.S. Friedman.
Hammers Slammers series by David Drake is a good military Sci-Fi that is consitent and well-written.
The Axis of Time series by John Birmingham.
Thunderhead, Riptide, The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

I have read most of these books, still need to finish the Coldfire Trilogy and some of Hammer's Slammers, but I enjoyed reading all of these books. Also Issac Asimov.

Varen_Tai
2006-05-16, 09:02 AM
Oh man, the Coldfire Trilogy was fabulous!

But Les Miserables is still my fav book of all time. Unabridged, of course.

Ender's Game is required reading now in schools somewhere? Sheesh, I wish I had gone to one of those schools!

And what's wrong with Narnia? That's quality stuff! I should add the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander as well.

Valda, Adlav and Samiam: the Jacked-Up Trinity
2006-05-16, 09:19 AM
And what's wrong with Narnia? That's quality stuff!

Absolutely nothing. I enjoyed every last one of them, though the LWW wardrobe movie was dissapointing. The only thing I would have liked to see, would be some creatures of Lewis' own design. Don't get me wrong, I love mythical creatures and use a few in my writing, including centaurs and several varieties of satyr, but original races just give any story a little special something that sets it apart. Even when using traditional creatures, however, I try to stay away from stereotypes. For instance, in my writing, centaurs aren't galloping across vast deserts, trampling everything in their path, getting super drunk all the while. They're protectors of the fire god, who, at one point sacrificed nearly their entire race in his service. Someone please comment on this rant. :P

PS




remember, Lucas's ideas were ripped out of old westerns and samuri films, so they aren't origaanal either.

Excellent point. I try my best to battle against the notion that there are no original ideas left, hard as it may be. It seems like, as soon as you get an idea you think is really good and will set the world on fire and leave your readers in awe, the next thing you know... BAM! Someone big in Hollywood or the literary community beats you to the punch. It can be disheartening at times. :(. Like when Star Wars III came out. I had my main character's father's backstory all planned out... that was when I realised how much Anakin's Darth Vader transformation mirrored it. Then, I played Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits. The plot was almost identical to that of my sequel series. Again, frustrating, though I enjoyed the game greatly.

straphael
2006-05-16, 09:26 AM
My recommendations
- The First Man in Rome series by Colleen McCullogh
it's about Republic Rome, and the historic figures really comes alive

- Anything by Stephen Baxter
He's my favorite sci-fi author. His books are really based on believable science, and his imagination is amazing.

Valda, Adlav and Samiam: the Jacked-Up Trinity
2006-05-16, 09:32 AM
The thing I liked about Artemis Fowl, was that instead of being all traditional about it, and making the People be keepers of ancient wisdom and whatnot, Colfer makes them technologically advanced, even more so than humans. I also like how he made some races different from the traditional by giving them ablilities they wouldn't normally possess. Dwarves that can unhinge their jaws, centaur who can work computers, etc. Almost makes them seem more like aliens than mythical creatures, granting Artemis Fowl that rare blend of sci-fi and fantasy that either makes a story great, or brings it down to the lowest levels of ridiculousness.

I really need to get a blog. :P

McBish
2006-05-16, 04:57 PM
Any sci-fi fan has missed out a lot if he hasn't read this book (that's only my personal opinion, of course).

No that isn't opinion that is a widely accepted fact.

Spuddly
2006-05-16, 08:45 PM
Short Story (probably the best one in the english language): Ernest Hemingway's A Clean Well-Lighted Place

Book: Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

Been reading Hemingway a bit, I have.

Spuddly
2006-05-16, 08:47 PM
I'll second Catch-22 (maybe the funniest book I have ever read) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut was also good.

Mattaeu
2006-05-17, 12:14 AM
I need to reread Catch 22; i didn't really follow it, at all. but it had to be done for class so made up something very vague and did poorly.

Also, I haven't read those Hemingway ones, but was he the guy that wrote Hills like White Elephants?

molonel
2006-05-17, 12:44 AM
For all of the hype surrounding the movie Brokeback Mountain, the original short story by Annie Proulx is worth reading. You can find it in the book Close Range : Wyoming Stories.

Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory remains one of my favorite short stories, ever.

If you can track down a copy, there are several short stories worth reading in The Best American Short Stories 1982, edited by John Gardner & Shannon Ravenel, including the oddly titled "Dancing Ducks and Talking Anus" by James Ferry, and "Good Rockin’ Tonight" by William Hauptman.

It's also hard to go wrong reading anything by Raymond Carver, although there are enough bad imitations of his K-Mart realism out there, already. Please don't try to follow in his footsteps. He's like Hemingway: admire him for his craft, learn from him, and cleanse him from your system as soon as humanly possible.

I have recently been devouring books on the Navy SEALs and black ops type operations for an upcoming d20 Modern black ops campaign I want to run.

These are at the top of my list right now:

Cold Zero: Inside the FBI Hostage Rescue Team by Christopher Whitcomb
Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko
Rogue Warrior 2: Red Cell by Richard Marcinko

Ishmayl
2006-05-17, 07:31 AM
I've been on a bit of an archaeological history-type reading endeavor lately, so:

"Underworld," by Graham Hancock;

"The Orion Mystery : Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids," by Robert Bauval;

"When the Sky Fell : In Search of Atlantis," by Rand Flem-Ath


These are all books that explore histories that we have not been privvy too, either from governments hiding them (such as the prehistory of the Maltese Islands, which has been completely erased by the government for various religious reasons), or because we are just now technologically advanced enough to figure some of these things out.

But as far as good ol' fantasy goes, there is nothing that tops

"Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn," by Tad Williams.

kendrama
2006-05-17, 04:49 PM
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore - A zombie attack lead by a murdered Santa Claus, a sunglasses-wearing, talking fruit bat, and a woman who becomes Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outlands (no, my screenname doesn't come from this, but it so caught my eye ;D) when she forgets to take her medication; what's not to love?

Dave Barry Does Japan - I love Dave Barry (possibly the funniest man alive), and I'm an anime freak so I'm fairly obsessed with Japan, so of course I loved this one. It's one of the best things I've ever read, even the so-called "boring part" when he visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgman - An entire chapter that consists of nothing but made-up hobo names. 'Nuff said. :) (Also, you know the PC guy in those new Mac commercials? That's John Hodgman. He's very good at saying ridiculous things with a straight face. ;D )

Anything by Robin McKinley, Ursula K. LeGuin, Terry Pratchett, or Roger Zelazny. They each have such a gift for words; I would read any of their works just to listen to the way they phrase things even if they didn't have absolutely fantastic plots and characters.

Amotis
2006-05-17, 07:12 PM
Short Story (probably the best one in the english language): Ernest Hemingway's A Clean Well-Lighted Place

Book: Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

Been reading Hemingway a bit, I have.

I'll check 'em out. Both literaly and figurtively. ;)

Flabbicus
2006-05-17, 08:58 PM
If you want to spend a long time reading some quality books then try the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. There are four books in the series and it is good stuff!

Vaynor
2006-05-18, 04:35 PM
Stuck in Neutral by... ummm ccant remmeber author but g ood book.
It's by Terry Trueman, won a Michael L. Printz Honor Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, an amazing book. *Other awards: ALA Best Book for Young Adults, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, ALA Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novels, and so on... *all in all, a freekin' amazing book, very touching. Pretty much a moving story for people of all ages. :D
Sorry for the huge lecture on it, but it's really good.\

Oh, and everything by Ray Bradbury, Jane Yolen, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Isabel Allende (sp?), Diane Duane, Piers Anthony (I don't care hwat you say, I like Xanth!), Eoin Colfer (Supernaturalist=good), and maybe some others I might have missed, sorry to exclude them.. :D *Sorry, avid reader here, just finished The DaVinci code in three hours, I want to see the movie...

Shaidar_Haran
2006-05-18, 04:45 PM
If you want to spend a long time reading some quality books then try the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. There are four books in the series and it is good stuff!

Better advice cannot be given. A Song of Ice and Fire is great.

Spuddly
2006-05-18, 09:17 PM
Also, I haven't read those Hemingway ones, but was he the guy that wrote Hills like White Elephants?

Yup.
Hemingway and his Code Heros. Real men, but scared of the dark. The way he contrasts light and dark is rather interesting. If he ever describes something, he'll describe the lighting.

hobbes543
2006-05-18, 09:29 PM
If you want to spend a long time reading some quality books then try the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. There are four books in the series and it is good stuff!


They may be long, but they are quick reads. It took me no more than 3 weeks to read the first 3. Waiting for the fourth to come out in paperback.

Mr._Blinky
2006-05-18, 09:55 PM
Yeah, Redwall was good, until you realize they are all the same. >:(

Spuddly
2006-05-18, 10:04 PM
Word.